WIEF Powertalk – Embracing the Digital Revolution

9 June 2021

3.00 pm (UTC+8:00)


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Interview session with foreign ambassadors who reside in Malaysia, on their overall experience and challenges being quarantined in this country, while managing economic activities and issues brought on by the pandemic. It is also crucial to understand the paradigm shift towards digitalisation during this period that has affected the whole world. Businesses that adopted digital transformation have an added advantage during this pandemic. Those resting on their laurels are surpassed by those that invested in adapting their digital capabilities to thrive in the post-pandemic economy. We would be able to understand the different approaches taken by different countries on adapting existing and new technologies that have helped them survive this critical period.

Outcome & Key Takeaways

  • Shared experience, challenges and ideas, by the ambassadors, on managing crisis, especially during the pandemic.
  • New insights on ways to manoeuvre economic activities, to benefit both the government and the people, during the pandemic
  • Deliberation on public concerns, issues and challenges in regards with the government regulations, policies, corporate governance in Malaysia and their country of origin.
  • Insights on matters concerning the people, product, promotion, trade and investment and what can be done to address the aftermath of the pandemic.

The session will explore

  • Economic and trading activities between the two countries and the challenges arise from the sudden global economic halt.
  • New measures to overcome challenges of the new norm in business dealings and ways to minimise barriers and maximise gain.
  • Digital technology as a tool to create trade opportunities and heighten collaborative efforts that help with economic recovery in their respective countries.

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His Excellency Charles Hay, MVO
British High Commissioner to Malaysia

His Excellency Charles Hay MVO started as the British High Commissioner to Malaysia in March 2019 in succession to Vicki Treadell CMG MVO.

Prior to Malaysia, Mr Hay was the British Ambassador to South Korea from 2015 to 2018. During his time in the British diplomatic services, he has been posted to the Czech Republic, Spain and the UK Representation to the EU in Brussels. Charles was also the Director of Consular Services in London, responsible for assisting British nationals and in crisis management worldwide. Before joining the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1993, he was a Captain in the British Army. He has a Master in Business Administration as well as a BA in Philosophy and Politics. His hobbies include golf, diving and archery.


His Excellency OKA Hiroshi
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Malaysia

His Excellency OKA Hiroshi is the Ambassador of Japan to Malaysia since November 2019. He has nearly 40 years of experience in diplomatic activities having joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan in 1982. Prior to Malaysia, Ambassador OKA also served as Ambassador of Japan to Turkey, Minister of the Embassy of Japan in the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabic. He has served in a range of bureaus and departments at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan. He was the Director General of Middle Eastern and African Affairs Bureau in 2017 as well as Director General of Intelligence Analysis Service in 2014. Ambassador OKA graduated from the Faculty of Law of the University of Tokyo in 1982. He speaks Japanese, English and Arabic.


His Excellency Fahad Mohd Y. Kafoud
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Qatar to Malaysia

His Excellency Fahad Mohd Y. Kafoud is the current Ambassador of the State of Qatar to Malaysia and has been in the position since 2018. In 1993, he worked at the Administrative and Financial Directorate of Qatar and was posted to the Embassy of the State of Qatar in Washington D.C. in 2008. After a year in the United States, he was appointed as General Coordinator at the Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar. His duty as an ambassador started in 2014, where he was appointed as the Ambassador of the State of Qatar to Canada. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economy and accounting from the University of Qatar.


Jessy Chahal
TV Personality and Broadcast Journalist

Jessy Chahal is a television anchor and presenter of news and live talk shows on current issues. She has over 16 years of corporate and media industry experience, with Frost & Sullivan, Oracle, Media Prima Berhad and Bernama. She hosted and moderated events such as President Obama’s visit to Malaysia, The Economic Times Business Leaders Conclave with Prime Ministers of Malaysia and India, as well as the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF).

Jessy is the founder of boutique communications firm, Bloom PR MediaComm. She is passionate about women empowerment, youth and technology. She holds a bachelor’s degree in computing and multimedia from Staffordshire University, United Kingdom, and a Master of Business Administration from Cardiff Metropolitan University, United Kingdom.